Trump’s Pick For …


Well, Rupert Murdoch looks younger than…

… Mick Jagger.

Despite the impassioned pleas of its last president…

George Washington University has now decided to revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree.

Our Poor Little Country

We can put a person on the moon, but we cannot figure out a way to revoke a medal.

In a July press conference, President Obama said he could not revoke the medal, which President George W. Bush awarded to Cosby in 2002. “There is no precedent for revoking the medal,” Obama said. “We don’t have the mechanism.”

But… Yes We Can. I just know we can.

For instance, here’s one possible mechanism which UD arrived at after hours of deep thought.

Send a letter from the President to Bill Cosby asking him to return the medal.

Here’s That Rainy Day

I fucked up on
Those leftover debts
But here’s that rainy day

Here’s that rainy day
They told me about
And I laughed at the thought
That it might turn out this way

Where is that Ponzi scheme
That I used to love
After it brought their cash so near

Funny how fraud becomes
A cold rainy day
That rainy day is here

Much of the Israeli Higher Education Establishment…

… has just been sued by Irving Picard – the guy in charge of returning swindled money to Bernie Madoff victims – for very large sums of said money.

Here’s the list:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ($36 million)
Ben Gurion University of the Negev ($18 million)
Weizmann Institute ($13 million)
Bar Ilan University ($10 million)
Tel Aviv University ($6.5 million)
Technion Israel Institute of Technology

The universities’ response is, as you might expect, we didn’t know, we already spent it, fuck off.

But bulldog Picard, who has, since 2008, clawed back impressive amounts of Madoff’s billions, can be expected to sue hard, citing “unjust enrichment” laws (and after all, don’t most Israelis – most people – consider it axiomatic that art stolen during the Holocaust, for instance, has to be returned even if a particular owner is ignorant of the original theft? — “Holocaust-looted art bears a ‘mark of Cain’ which, under international law, infects all transactions relating to it, including transfers to third parties.”).

Picard also points out that the now-defunct charitable group that gave the Madoff money to these institutions (Picard is also suing this group) had financial as well as charitable motives:

Picard’s complaint in the court claims that the Horowitz Association did not transfer these huge sums only as a donation to encourage research in Israel; it chose to act as an investor with economic interests, and made receiving the money contingent on the provision of proceeds through royalties.

Picard notes that several other institutional beneficiaries of Madoff – Hadassah, for instance – immediately returned their Madoff money on learning that they harbored it.

By refusing to take the moral and respectable path, the [universities] associate themselves with the thief – Madoff – and not the victims.

Will the universities decide to settle some amount or other on the victims, in order to make this embarrassing lawsuit go away?



One Day in, and the University of Louisville Scandal is Already Generating Great Headlines.


“[Did] Salaita [do] her in, or was it the athletic scandals? Obviously athletics is far more important than academics…”

A commenter wonders which of Phyllis Wise’s many challenges and screw-ups might have pushed her recent appointment as University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chancellor over the edge. She has just announced her resignation.

UIUC certainly does know how to pick ’em. Let us not forget Richard Herman.


UD thanks Wendy.


Here’s what UD considers an appropriate headline for Wise’s departure, highlighting her main accomplishment:

Nike Board Member Phyllis Wise Resigns as Illinois Chancellor

“Ingham then mocked the man for attending Mary Washington College, once an all-women’s school …”

Whew! Just in time. UD was madly enjoying reading this story, and wanted to share it with you, but wasn’t finding any connection to universities until, toward the end of the piece, bingo!


A medical ethicist at Northwestern University has a great comment:

[This was] a cheap excuse to have a laugh at a powerless person’s expense.

UD has long been interested in the theme of cruelty. This story seems to her a very pure instance of the phenomenon of cruelty.

UD discovers a wonderful portmanteau word…

… created by an unintentionally creative headline writer in the News and Observer:


The writer means MESMERIZING (the term is derived from Franz Anton Mesmer), and his double mistake – Z instead of S; O instead of E – creates a thing of beauty, a word that combines the idea of being riveted, entranced by something with the idea of not being able to forget it (memorize). That form of remembrance which is so strong as to be mesmerizing we can now call mezmorizing.

No doubt the poor writer will correct the headline once ridicule and abuse set in; but UD loves the word, and hopes the newspaper retains it.


Poo. They fixed it.

Headline of the Day.


Husbanding your compost…

… or vice versa.

That took no time at all.

Instantly after the publication of the Columbia School of Journalism report (everyone’s calling it “scathing”) about the University of Virginia rape article in Rolling Stone, the fraternity announces a defamation suit against RS.

If you want to get a sense of what their odds of winning are, here’s Eugene Volokh.

“[I]t is worth resisting the temptation to think that some new regulation or device can offer perfect protection against calculated malice.”

Unfortunately, none can.

James Fallows, on the Germanwings crash.

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